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Daily Mirror denies involvement in latest palace intrusion
18 May 2004 by Malcolm DruryThe Daily Mirror, an alleged newspaper, has denied any involvement in the latest of a series of security alerts and intrusions at royal residences.
A man was arrested on Monday this week for allegedly impersonating a police officer in a public area of Windsor Castle. The man is understood to have posed as a plain-clothes officer, Detective Constable Douglas Ramsbottom of the Metropolitan Police. An alert officer remembered that the real DC Ramsbottom is 6' 4" tall, bearded and red-haired, whereas the man claiming to be DC Ramsbottom was 5' 2", clean-shaven and bald.
"I immediately became suspicious and contacted my superiors to get instructions," said the officer, who, for security reasons, must remain anonymous. "They told me to ask this so-called 'DC Ramsbottom' a question that only the real one would be able to answer, like which cheek does PC Brenda Shuttleworth have a mole on."
"When he said 'left' it was obvious to me he was bogus," the officer added. "Brenda doesn't have a mole on the cheek. Well, not on a cheek you normally see. Everybody at the met knows that. So I said 'you're nicked, my lad.'"
He added that suspicion immediately fell on the Daily Mirror. An alleged reporter for the Mirror successfully infiltrated Buckingham Palace last year and worked as a footman for several weeks. He then wrote about life at the Palace, exposing hitherto unknown facts about how many servants it takes to deliver a tray to one of the Family, where the Queen keeps her teeth at night, and the name of Prince Edward's teddy bear (Simon). The Palace subsequently dismissed all those alleged facts as entirely bogus.
Asked by our reporter about the latest incident a spokesman for the Mirror denied any involvement on the part of the paper and said that it would be publishing photographs to prove its innocence as soon as they had been processed.
As for bogus reporting, he said that the policy of the Mirror was to leave that to the Sun. He refused to elaborate but he appeared to be referring to a claim by the Sun that it had infiltrated Sandringham House last year with one of its page three girls, who had posed for a month as a Victorian hat-stand. At the time, royal staff dismissed the Sun's claim. However, unconfirmed reports continue to circulate that during that alleged month Prince Philip never stopped smiling and had taken to making frequent trips to check that his hat was still there.
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